Adjusting to life back in Canada has been interesting. I landed on April 2nd and sometimes it feels like I never left and yet other days everything feels strange. I get familiar products from familiar stores even though I live in a different area than I did before. Seeing old friends and family is always nice but there are many new faces in my life now which is always interesting and exciting.
It took almost four days to clear my motorcycle out of Canadian Customs. The most difficult boarder to cross was returning home. Our systems here in Canada work, but they just take time, 3.5 days to check a VIN number on a motorcycle seems ridiculous but all I could do was wait. The guys at Air Canada Cargo were great, helped me with inflating my tires and gave me lots of space to work on getting the bike ready to drive home.
The riding has been different, short day trips returning to the same home each night is not what I have become used to, but the rides have been fun. Visiting the only covered bridge in Ontario or rides past what seems like endless farmland may not seem as exciting as Terra Del Fuego, but they somehow were. I think it is the company I have had on these rides. I had the privilege of taking a friend on her first motorcycle ride, something I love doing but rarely have the opportunity. The smile on her face when we first stopped told me she had fun, I didn’t have to ask but did anyway. She wanted to come for another ride and even mentioned learning to ride herself. The trip to the covered bridge was with another rider on a Ducati Monster. Stopping at a farmers market and photos of a bridge were something that would have bored me before but this time I really enjoyed it. I was in good company.
I was planning to do an Iron Butt motorcycle challenge with the only rider I knew who was tough enough to do it – my friend David. David passed away suddenly last week. I have never lost a friend before and it has been difficult. There are periods where I feel the overwhelming loss of my friend and riding partner, and how I miss the conversation and laughter, followed by the realization that life goes on and that I have tickets to see BB King next week – so I should invite the pretty girl. I have to say to myself “what would David say if he were here” and then I usually end up smiling so hard my face hurts and I soon feel better. David lived life 100% and served as an example of how I want to live and how I want to be remembered. I still plan on doing the Iron butt ride, in his memory. Rest in Peace my friend.
A quick internet search revealed tons of motorcycle events in Ontario this summer. I signed up for one already “Hero’s Highway Ride and Rally” in June, and there are a few more on my list. It will be a summer of discovery in my own backyard. I have new people to ride with now so I spent the better part of this morning planning a few interesting rides, I will go solo if I necessary. I am not a journey across the Americas anymore, but I will always be on a journey.